Walker Claims Recall Petition Circulators Are Being Paid

Gov. Scott Walker has been repeating a claim lately that he believes organizers will force a recall election because some recall petition circulators are being paid.

The groups behind the Walker recall effort said people aren’t being paid to circulate recall petitions.

“I’ve assumed all along that between activists and paid circulators, if they paid enough people they’d ultimately be able to get that number,” said Walker in an interview.

WISC-TV followed up with the governor, to ask if he had proof of any recall circulators being brought in from out of out of state or paid to gather signatures.

“I haven’t talked to any of the circulators, not at all,” said Walker. “My assertion was that if they did what they did in Ohio, which was they paid circulators along with activists and they got close to a million there in a state about twice our size, if they do that, they’d be more than likely to get enough to get on the ballot.”

United Wisconsin and the Democratic Party assert they’re not paying anyone except supervisory staff.

“I’m not aware of people paying petition signature gatherers,” said Rep. Chris Taylor, D-Madison. “I can tell you from the party’s perspective we are focused on making sure our 24,000 volunteers are doing everything right and are abiding all the laws and collecting signatures properly.”

A recall volunteer in Oregon told WISC-TV that he wasn’t being paid and hadn’t met anyone who was.

“I run into a lot of volunteers who have been putting in a lot of hours collecting signatures on totally volunteer time,” said Charles Uphoff, of Fitchburg. “I haven’t run into a paid circulator yet, so I don’t know what (Walker’s) talking about.”

Paying recall circulators is not illegal in the state of Wisconsin.

The Republican Party of Wisconsin paid a Colorado company to bring in petition circulators this summer during Senate recall elections.

The Government Accountability Board said Tuesday that it hasn’t received any complaints or contact about any circulators being paid.